Debmar-Mercury spreads abroad

Hires Hegedus to set up shop in London

Debmar-Mercury, the Lionsgate-owned distributor of “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “South Park,” has spread to Europe, hiring Beata Hegedus to set up a London office as managing director.

Hegedus, who’s leaving her post as executive with Fox TV Studios in London, will focus on formats. She’ll buy international formats for distribution by Debmar-Mercury in the U.S. and other markets; conversely, she’ll license U.S. TV formats to buyers in countries throughout the globe.

Earlier in her career as a broadcaster in Budapest, Hegedus produced Hungarian versions of “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy” and “Hollywood Squares.”

The hiring of Hegedus, said Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, “positions us to more aggressively pursue worldwide-programming opportunities.”

Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said the company is working on plans to distribute “House of Payne” to countries outside the U.S.

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